Last updated on February 2009

Radiofrequency Ablation With or With Transcatheter Arterial Embolization for Hepatocellular Carcinoma


Brief description of study

The purpose of this study is to prospectively evaluate whether combined RFA and TACE (RFA-TACE) result in better survival outcomes than RFA alone in patients with HCC.

Detailed Study Description

Local ablation is a safe and effective therapy for patients who cannot undergo resection, or as a bridge to transplantation. Of the various percutaneous local ablative therapies, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has attracted the greatest interest because of its effectiveness and safety for small HCC ≤ 5.0cm, with a 3-year survival rate of 62% to 68%, a low treatment morbidity of 0% to 12%, and a low treatment mortality of 0% to 1%. Prospective randomized trials have shown RFA to be better than percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) in producing a higher rate of complete tumor necrosis with fewer numbers of treatment sessions and better survival. Unfortunately, the complete tumor necrosis rate for tumors larger than 5cm is less favorable, and the local recurrence rate can be as high as 20% even in small HCC less than 3.5cm. The high local recurrence rate may be due to residual cancer cells not killed by RFA or adjacent microscopic satellite tumor nodules. Transcatheter Arterial Chemoembolization (TACE) is proved to be an effective and palliative therapy for unresectable HCC. And some studies showed that combined TACE and RFA may produce superior tumor control than RFA alone and reduce local recurrence rate. In a study by Yamakado et al., 64 patients with 92 tumors underwent RFA within two weeks after TACE. The intrahepatic recurrence rates were 15% at 1 year and 43% at 2years, the 1, and 2, year overall survivals were 100% and 93%, respectively. These results appeared favorable, but there has not a prospective randomized controlled study to compare RFA combine with TACE versus RFA alone. Thus the purpose of our study was to prospectively evaluate whether combined RFA and TACE (RFA-TACE) result in better survival outcomes than RFA alone in patients with HCC.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT00554905

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Min-Shan Chen, Doctor

Department of Hepatobilliary Surgery, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-sen University
Guangzhou, China
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